Cabin Crew - First Class Trainer
Cabin Crew, Cabin Manager, Trainer, Training Manager
Most Recent Aircraft Type:
Trident, BAC 1-11, Tristar, 737, 757, Concorde, Airbus A380, Boeing 747/777/787
Aviation Specific Degree:
Passions, Interests and Experience:
Why did you want to become Cabin Crew?
To use my French initially in Europe with BA Shorthaul and see the world, meet people, gain new experiences that would enrich my life.
Thinking to the beginning of your career, how did you find your entry into the role?
My initial training in 1984 was incredible. We were hosted by trainers at the Penta hotel, no expense spared. We enjoyed a week of five star luxury and later went on to be trained at Cranebank. The initial week at the Penta hotel Heathrow (now the Renaissance) was primarily for us to get to know each other on a personal level. We enjoyed a five star menu throughout the day alongside training sessions in a very laid back wonderful atmosphere. We were made to feel that we had been extremely fortunate to have reached this selection stage. When I joined in 1984, only 400 applicants were approved out of 16,000 hopefuls. Very few people in the UK had actually flown before, some of the new entrants were also new to flying and we were all made to feel as if we were part of an aviation family. It was akin to becoming almost becoming famous and leaving behind an ordinary life. This was superstardom.
During my first few months on the job, I was bowled over by the attention I received, going home to a Welsh seaside town, I would be bombarded with questions from the local shop keepers and even the Bank manager! I felt famous. The uniform we wore was also stunningly beautiful to wear. Everything was about high end quality. The experience of spending 24 hours in Nice, Geneva, Brussels and Paris to begin with was superb. Culturally it was so rewarding. The airline made use of our language skills in the early 80s and as a result, I was often on French speaking routes. The fact that I spoke French also enabled me to get onto the Concorde fleet at the young age of 28. I felt ecstatic. I really cannot emphasise that feeling of having made it in life in my 20s, as a Cabin crew member, or Air Hostess as we were known then, for BA. My family were so proud too. I really did feel part of the jet set! Once staff travel set in after 6 months, it was the norm to spend long three day breaks after a six day roster, in Larnaca. We would jump onto the plane from arrival in the terminal. When my late father used a ticket to HKK to watch the rugby in 1995, I walked him through the airport and onto the 747 hardly showing any ID. It was that sort of world. I wore the uniform with such pride. Once in NY, I wanted to show the Crew the Trading floor as my first husband worked as a Futures Trader on the LIFFE floor in the City. Just mentioning the word Concorde crew, enabled us all to walk in without any need for any ID whatsoever. It was stardom!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I had a fabulous suntan all year around from three day trips in Larnaca or Barbados (Concorde) a wardrobe full of designer clothes, a wallet full of expenses and a very healthy bank account! Each trip, we had champagne on landing and champagne at room parties. We were allowed to purchase bottles to take home. Dinner parties amongst the crew were de rigueur. We also met such incredible people from all walks of life, it was so so so much fun!
What is most challenging about your job?
Coming back to BA in 2011 was such an eye opener for me. I still felt incredibly fortunate to have been given a second opportunity to do the job I loved like no other. My children were now adults. My daughter started to work in Singapore and my son was soon off to Mexico and to Rio to finish his third degree year. The fact that I was able to see them and help them was fantastic but nothing prepared me for the change of attitude. The low morale on board due to tiredness, shorter lay overs and lack of financial reward for such a challenging job. The airline was very different in 2011. I was quite shocked at how much had changed. I found that a personal challenge to overcome but once accepting the fact that the trips would become more tiring, to pace yourself, take unpaid leave and find a way of still enjoying the job for the freedom it offered plus the opportunity to still meet people from all over the globe, kept me positive. It was still an incredibly wonderful opportunity.
What did you find was the most important part of your job?
Meeting so many people from all walks of life and sharing stories, whether it was a famous actor, politician , pilot or crew member. It was never boring.
Have you Mentored anyone before?
I have successfully brought up two children, mentored young students whom I have taught or tutored. I have always tried to be as positive as possible in life no matter the setback and used this approach to help others too.
Finally, why did you want to become a Resilient Crew Mentor?
It would be wonderful to bring my experience as a former crew member and my role as a tutor/teacher to help and reach out to other crew who are experiencing all sorts of challenges at this time.